NEW YORK - Beware the Ides of March. The final weeks of winter and first week of spring are particularly dangerous for Empires stretched thin. Like the United States, the Roman Empire was once exceptional. Today, Italy is a minor, scandal plagued country in decline, about to be led by a coalition including a rising comedian and a fading lothario. Too much dolce vita is a dangerous thing, not to mention the shocking moral decay of the Vatican now rushing onto front pages as Italians continue to pay a heavy price, their storied nation descends ever deeper into
I want to add to what Jonathan wrote about Bob Woodward calling out the White House for misrepresenting its role in sequestration and “moving the goalposts” in order to get its way. Mr. Woodward is clearly sympathetic to President Obama’s approach; he’s said as much. (“Obama’s call for a balanced approach is reasonable,” Woodward writes, “and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more.”) But Woodward has enough integrity as a journalist not to allow a willful distortion to go unchecked and unchallenged. Many in the elite media–NBC’s Chuck
Washington - Congressional Republicans are preparing to counter increasingly dire warnings from President Obama about the impact of automatic budget cuts with a plan to give the administration more flexibility in instituting $85 billion in cuts, a proposal they say could protect the most vital programs while shifting more of the political fallout to the White House. (Snip) “I’m willing to raise revenue. I’m willing to raise $600 billion in new revenue if my Democratic friends would be willing to reform entitlements, and we can fix sequestration together.”
The federal government is facing massive furloughs beginning later this week, but it is still running help-wanted ads seeking workers to answer phones — at up to $81,000 a year — or to drive cars for the State Department, for as much as $26.45 an hour. Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican and Congress’s top waste-watcher, sent a letter Monday to the White House budget office asking it to halt new hiring in low-priority jobs as a way of trying to preserve more important positions such as food safety inspectors and Border Patrol agents. His letter identified 10
Sybrina Fulton wants George Zimmerman to stand trial for killing her son Trayvon Martin a year ago tomorrow in Sanford, Fla. Before that can happen, Judge Debra Nelson must determine whether the immunity from prosecution granted under Florida’s insane “stand your ground” (SYG) law applies to Zimmerman and his actions on Feb. 26, 2012. Neither Fulton nor her attorney Benjamin Crump believe it does. This is the only area where they agree with Mark O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lawyer. But Fulton says if the former neighborhood watch volunteer avoids a jury trial, “a whole lot of people need to
A Texas lawmaker is launching an investigation after a high school teacher reportedly invited her female students to dress in burqas and refer to Muslim terrorists as “freedom fighters.” State Sen. Dan Patrick told Fox News he is very disturbed by a Facebook photograph posted by one of the students in a world geography class at Lumberton High School, which showed them in Islamic garb. He also is investigating reports that the students were forced to write an essay based on an article in The Washington Post that blamed Egypt’s turmoil on democracy rather than the Muslim Brotherhood.
President Barack Obama won’t have to worry about his paycheck if the spending sequestration included in the Budget Control Act that he signed into law in 2011 begins taking effect this Friday. A report published last month by the Congressional Research Service--“Budget Sequestration and Selected Program Exemptions and Special Rules"--identifies certain programs that are exempt from sequestration and lays out special rules that govern the sequestration of others. Section 255 of the Budget Control Act includes “Compensation for the President” as one of those exemptions (Page 19).
Six years ago, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao cautioned that China´s economy is "unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable." China has since doubled down on the economic model that prompted his concern. Mr. Wen spoke out in an attempt to change the course of an economy dangerously dependent on one lever to generate growth: heavy investment in the roads, factories and other infrastructure that have helped make China a manufacturing superpower. (Snip) Even more staggering is the amount of credit that China unleashed to finance this investment boom.
While presenting an oral argument in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last fall, a lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department told a federal judge that the Obama administration believed it could force the judge’s own wife—a physician—to act against her religious faith in the conduct of her medical practice. The assertion came in the case of Tyndale House Publishers v. Sebelius, a challenge to the Obama administration’s regulation requiring health-care plans to cover sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. Tyndale is a for-profit corporation that publishes Bibles,
The White House defended itself today after suggestions that high-dollar donors to President Obama’s new non-profit advocacy group would ‘buy’ face time with the Commander-In-Chief. Organizing for Action, which is set up to be a social welfare organization, will allow large donations not unlike Super-PAC contributions, to be given to aid Mr Obama in carrying out second-term goals such as climate change and gun control. There have been reports that those who contributed more than $500,000 to his cause would be invited to quarterly meetings with the president in a pay-to-play.
National Review Online reports that Chuck Hagel has been endorsed by Louis Farrakhan. The Nation of Islam head likes Hagel because he sounds just like himself. “Now look, Senator Hagel is hated by the Jews because he wrote in his book that the United States Senate, quote, is an institution that does not inherently bring out a great deal of courage. Most of the time members play it safe and adopt an ‘I’ll support Israel’ attitude,’” said Farrakhan. “AIPAC comes knocking with a pro-Israel letter and then you’ll get 80 to 90 senators signing on it.
The test of President Obama’s seriousness about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It’s whether he effectively consigns coal-fired power plants — one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions — to the ashcan of history. Since his reelection, Obama has signaled a new focus on climate change. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms,” he said in an inaugural address that devoted eight sentences to the issue,
This week the entertainment industry finally is getting a version of something it has been craving since the original Napster transformed online piracy into a mass-market phenomenon: a new Copyright Alert System that turns Internet service providers into anti-piracy enforcers. It´s not as powerful as the major record companies and Hollywood studios have proposed, and it ignores many sources of bootlegged music and movie files online. (Snip) It calls for ISPs to notify customers of alleged infringements that the trade associations´ members have detected on their broadband accounts,
Rome - Italy´s general election produced a stalemate, with Pier Luigi Bersani´s centre-left alliance failing to win a working majority in parliament and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi´s centre right saying the vote should be declared "too close to call". Bersani´s alliance looked set to come first in the contests for the both the Senate and the Lower House, with almost all the votes counted early on Tuesday, although the difference with respect to the centre right was less than 1% in both cases. (Snip) But neither of the two biggest coalitions was close to the 158 seats needed in the Senate
The Steering Committee of the Alabama Republican Party has taken the rare step of officially demanding that one of the state’s two GOP U.S. Senators change a publicly announced position in a high-profile Washington battle. Specifically, the state party leaders have passed a resolution demanding that Sen. Richard Shelby “reconsider and reverse his decision to support Senator [Chuck] Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.” The resolution, passed early this afternoon, blasts Hagel for statements “favorable toward” countries “that we believe to be enemies of the United States of America,”
Hollywood: Michelle Obama´s appearance at the Oscars to announce the best picture award raises the ugly specter of a state political stamp of approval for the arts. No wonder Americans are turning away from movies. It´s no secret that President Obama and his glamorous wife Michelle have worked hand in glove with Hollywood´s power structure for years — from the White House´s unauthorized access of classified information for the makers of "Zero Dark Thirty," which was nominated for Best Picture, to the vast fundraisers President Obama holds in Beverly Hills.
In the wake of the 2012 presidential election, some political commentators have written political obituaries of the "red" or conservative-leaning states, envisioning a brave new world dominated by fashionably blue bastions in the Northeast or California. But political fortunes are notoriously fickle, while economic trends tend to be more enduring. These trends point to a U.S. economic future dominated by four growth corridors that are generally less dense, more affordable, and markedly more conservative and pro-business: the Great Plains, the Intermountain West, the Third Coast (spanning the Gulf states from Texas to Florida), and the Southeastern industrial belt.
Media Bias: Now that the voters have made their choice, big voices in the dominant media are exposing President Obama as their manipulator. But it´s too late to cut the puppet strings without crashing hard. Longtime media critic and Daily Beast Washington bureau chief Howard Kurtz calls the White House press corps "self-involved and whiny" for complaining about not being allowed to cover a presidential golf outing with Tiger Woods the way they wanted to. And appearing on Kurtz´s CNN program, veteran CBS News correspondent Bill Plante says the media are "used to being called whiny lap dogs.
President Obama is almost breathless predicting "devastating" consequences if the sequester trigger is pulled. He warns the cuts "will hurt our economy ... add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls. ... The unemployment rate might tick up again." But will a $44 billion cut in spending out of a $3.8 trillion budget, a mere 1%, really be a "meat cleaver approach" that will "eviscerate" government programs? Obama frightens people by pretending that the $1 trillion cut takes place right away rather than being spread out over 10 years.
Throughout the day on Monday, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane took sharp criticisms from members of the media for his performance as host of the Academy Awards Sunday night. But conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh had the opposite reaction, deeming MacFarlane worthy of an “attaboy.” Limbaugh explained on his Monday show that he sent a personal note to MacFarlane, giving him props for his performance. “Seth MacFarlane was the host of the program,” Limbaugh said. “As you know, I have appeared on the ‘Family Guy’ TV show three times
Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop died peacefully at his home on Monday, Dartmouth College said. He was 96. Koop served as surgeon general from 1982 to 1989, under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He was outspoken on public health issues and did much to elevate the office of the surgeon general. He died at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire, the college said in a news release. "Dr. Koop did more than take care of his individual patients -- he taught all of us about critical health issues that affect our larger society," said Dartmouth President Carol L. Folt. Author corrected by Staff.
An Investor´s Business Daily editorial on Friday confirmed a couple of items which seemed intuitively obvious but which I didn´t prove on Thursday in my post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about the Department of Labor´s outrageous decision to grant unionized workers at now-liquidating Hostess Bakeries "Trade Adjustment Assistance" (TAA). The first is that it will cost a lot of money, totaling an amount which appears to have a chance to come within striking distance of about half of the annual profits in the entire commercial baking industry. The second is that there is little if any evidence supporting DOL´s finding
RUSH: Listen to this. This is from the AP, and they´re mad about this. The NRA has found a Justice Department memo, and they are using it to accuse the Obama administration of wanting to commandeer your guns. They are furious here in this AP story. "The National Rifle Association is using a Justice Department memo it obtained to argue in ads that the Obama [regime] believes its gun control plans won´t work unless the government seizes firearms and requires national gun registration..." Now, when everybody makes that accusation, what happens? I
RUSH: The sequester, ladies and gentlemen. Have you stocked up your food? Have you bought all your water? Have you got all the batteries that you´re gonna need? Have you made plans to do without for months and months and months? I´m telling you it´s going to be brutal out there. I heard a media person today saying the reason why... Get this, now. The reason why they think this time the sequester´s gonna happen -- the reason why there will not be a last-minute solution like there always is -- is because there are no talks.
House Republican leaders returned to Washington in attack mode on Monday, accusing President Obama of being a “road show president” days before automatic spending cuts are set to take effect. “The president proposed the sequester, yet he’s far more interested in holding campaign rallies than he is in urging Senate Democrats to actually pass a plan,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a brief Capitol news conference with the House GOP leadership team. Obama is scheduled to travel to Virginia on Tuesday to rally public support for his approach to replacing the $85 billion in sequestration cuts, but Republicans
With the Falklands referendum just two weeks away, the Obama administration still refuses to recognise the referendum and the right to self-determination of the Falkland Islanders. At a news conference in London today alongside Foreign Secretary William Hague, US Secretary of State John Kerry made this point very clearly in response to a question from the press.[Snip]Well, let me be very clear about our position with respect to the Falklands, which I believe is clear. First of all, I’m not going to comment, nor is the President, on a referendum that has yet to take place and hasn’t taken place.